(Image source from: The Independent)
More than 8,400 hate crime incidents have been reported in the United States in 2017, according to an FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) report released on Tuesday.
The hate crime incidents included 24 against Sikhs, 15 against Hindus, and over 300 against Muslims, while the report topped with 1,678 hate crimes committed against the Jews.
Altogether, as many as 8,437 hate crimes were recorded in the year 2017. The report further said that nine anti-Buddhist hate crimes were also registered earlier this year.
According to the report, a total of 24 anti-Sikh, 15 anti-Hindu and 314 anti-Muslim hate crimes were reported in the U.S.
The Sikh Coalition, a community-based organization that defends Sikh civil rights, said that in 2017, it received 12 anti-Sikh hate crime cases and tracked a total of 24 anti-Sikh hate-related incidents across the nation.
"This figure alone is under-representative of the problem since many individuals impacted by hate do not report the incidents.
"For the reported cases to law enforcement, a historical challenge is that agencies routinely fail to identify bias during investigations. Even when they do, they often do not report it to federal authorities, so the data never shows up in the statistics," it said.
"Even with incomplete data, this new report shows our elected officials that hate in America is thriving and profoundly impacting the safety and well-being of minority communities nationwide," said Sim Singh, Sikh Coalition senior advocacy manager.
He said politicians were culpable when they drive divisive policies and "bigoted political rhetoric" that routinely puts lives at greater risk.
There are about 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S. In the aftermath of the 2012 Oak Creek, Wisconsin massacre inside a gurdwara, the FBI eventually agreed to begin tracking anti-Sikh hate crimes in 2015.
There has been an increase in racism and crimes against South Asian Americans since the November 2016 election of President Donald Trump, first Indian-origin U.S. Senator Kamala Harris said recently, calling on Americans to stand united and speak the truth to deal with these issues.
Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in Kansas in the Midwestern U.S. in February earlier this year.
A 43-year-old Indian-origin store owner Harnish Patel was shot dead outside his home in South Carolina on March 2.
A 39-year-old Sikh man Deep Rai was injured on March 3 when an unidentified person shot him outside his home in the city of Kent.
An Indian-origin girl was racially abused on a train by an African-American man in New York on February 23.